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From India to UC Law, Daya Patibandla Pursues Dream to Become a Lawyer

Daya Patibandla ’14 had long wanted to attend law school and become an attorney.

“I knew I wanted to be an attorney about 20 pages into my first John Grisham book,” said Patibandla, of course referring to the classic novel, “The Firm.”

After working for a year following undergrad, Patibandla took the LSAT and began looking into law schools all across the country. She enrolled at the College of Law last fall and is now halfway through with her three-year law school career.

Patibandla split her childhood almost equally between Jonnalagadda, a small village in rural south India, and Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. After attending an international boarding school in India, where she studied political science and history during her final two years there, Patibandla knew that if she wanted to be an attorney she would want to practice in the United States.

She returned to the United States for college at age 18 and attended William Carey University, a small private school in Hattiesburg, Miss. Patibandla pursued a business degree at William Carey, majoring in marketing and management, while minoring in finance.

After earning her degree in 2009, Patibandla moved up to Jackson, where she began working at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi – the state’s largest insurance company. She spent about two years with BCBS before moving to the Cincinnati area to begin law school.

“I loved it. It was a great job,” she said. “But I wanted something more challenging and I always wanted to be an attorney, so I kind of knew that it was just going to be for two years.”

Patibandla looked at numerous law schools before ultimately deciding on the College of Law. In addition to her younger sister working in Cincinnati (her older sister, meanwhile, lives in Colombia), Patibandla said she was very impressed with the student body and professors, as well as the local business community.

In her first three semesters at the College of Law, Patibandla has been heavily involved. She is currently an associate member on Law Review, secretary for Student Ambassadors, a justice on Student Court and a SLEC advisor for 1Ls.

The current 2L has also gained experience outside of school, currently working about 16 hours per week at GE Aviation, where she also interned this past summer. During that summer, Patibandla worked in two of the legal in-house counsel departments: Labor and Employment, as well as Litigation Preventive.

“It was really a great experience because it was a lot of substantive legal work and I was very interested in both of these areas,” she said. “I moved over to Commercial Engines Sales and Services for the school year, and I will continue to be there until April. So I have gotten the opportunity to work with many sides of the business and work with many talented attorneys who have been invaluable mentors.”

Patibandla, who is especially interested in labor and employment and international business, will be working as a summer associate at Frost Brown Todd’s Cincinnati office following her 2L year. In the meantime, she just completed an Employment Law course and is enrolled in International Business Transactions and Corporations I this spring.

Although she has only been in Cincinnati for about a year and a half, Patibandla said she has “loved it.” While she will have to wait for warmer weather to get back to the Great American Ball Park or play sand volleyball in Fort Thomas, Ky., she also enjoys going out with her friends in the different areas (Mount Adams, Mount Lookout, Covington, etc.) and also spending “quiet evenings at home with (her) Kindle.”

During her winter vacation, Patibandla was planning to make a trip to Las Vegas, and possibly taking the Megabus for a trip to Chicago. The 2L said she also planned to read, relax … and begin her next Law Review paper.

 

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13